Abstract I try to rejuvenate Cleanth Brooks’s old thesis about the ‘heresy of paraphrase.’ This I do by analysing a couple of well-known poems and by performing. which Mr. Cleanth Brooks has called “the heresy of paraphrase.” What Mr. Bowra does, and does very well, is to give us what the poet talks about in so far as it. “the poem, if it be a true poem, is a simulacrum of reality by being an experience rather than any mere statement about experience or any.

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Central to “The Heresy of Paraphrase” was a vigorous critique of conventional distinctions between form and content:.

We might even say, conversely, that paraphrase is a kind of translation. Brooks argued that meaning in poetry is irreducible, because “a true poem is a simulacrum of reality So whatever lack of merit my arguments might have, I am not moving in vicious circles. No, not at all. The essential structure of a poem as distinguished hereys the rational or logical structure of the ‘statement’ which we abstract from it resembles that of architecture or painting: Mott, and call it “Fountain,” but it would still not be the same artwork or anti-artwork as in the actual world.

However, they can be meaningful and at cleantth same time impossible to rephrase satisfactorily. Verbal irony appears in words. If the interpretation were, for instance, of the deconstructivist kind, the manual would include some deconstructive rules or anti-rules. In most cases, we would have no problem identifying the nature of the object of the paraphrase. At the same time, Brooks has correctly shown that a paraphrase does not have to be without worth in helping us to understand a poem.

We can be very familiar with a painting or a symphony without being able to describe it in words. Views Read Edit View history.

Instead, I will utilise it for my own purposes. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Dramatic irony is produced through a person who involves in action but does not know what is going on him rhe the audiences know. Sometimes an explication is closer to a summary, which in its turn tries to give the essential meaning of a text or an utterance.


Further, rhythm often plays an important role for the meaning of a poem and rhythm can hardly be mirrored by propositions. Both the paraphrases and the descriptions are put forth in propositions and are in Brooks’s terminology ‘pointers’ [20]: A prosaic text can be improved with the aid of a paraphrase, a typical poem is only destroyed.

Johannessen thinks that our knowledge of artworks, of which the knowledge of the sounds of clarinet can be an example, is a brand of tacit knowledge, which he terms ‘knowledge by familiarity. I try to rejuvenate Cleanth Brooks’s old thesis about the ‘heresy of paraphrase. Further, Pound’s use of Homer creates a set of associations, which are hardly paraphrasable in any fruitful manner.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We can try to paraphrase the poem make a rewording of it in the following fashion: The author of the Idylls of the King could not have. Therefore, this is an adequate reworder, given my stipulation. So it seems that a paraphrase of this poem has certain features in common with paraphrases of more ‘poetical’ poems such as Pound’s ‘Canto 1.

Eliot ‘s influence as both poet and critic. Retrieved from ” https: This means that if my earlier description of the typical features of poems is correct and Williams’s poem is a typical example of a p.

Heresy of paraphrase

The idea of the non-paraphrasability of poetry was one of the central clanth of the New Criticism. Is it certain that this possible world would need the notion of poetry in order to classify the p.

Well, I certainly hope that my theories point in that very direction. My aim is to show that there is more than a grain of truth in the thesis that paradigmatic examples of poetry cannot be rephrased in any satisfactory manner.

The attempted paraphrase of ‘Canto I’ also counts in favour of the thesis. Anybody knowledgeable about William Carlos Williams knows that he himself would never have fo such a thing. We carried our black sheep here the expression is to be understood in a literal fashion aboard at the same time as we boarded the vessel, while in tears.


This seems plausible because when we translate a text we try to say the same thing in other words, which is tantamount to an attempt to paraphrase it. September Learn how and brookss to remove this template message. In order to avoid misunderstanding, ‘textual meaning’ is not to be understood as ‘sentence meaning.

I am sorry, the plums were pafaphrase, they were very sweet and cold. Consider the following lines from Ezra Pound’s tue I’ [10]which incidentally consists to a large extent of a translation of Homer’s Ulysses: It is a structure of gesture and attitude, it is wrapped in emotions, and it has its own poetic universe constituting its romantic structure.

Brooks further says, “Even the meaning of any particular item is modified by the context”. One of Eliot’s greatest admirers, the New Critic Cleanth Brooks, coined the phrase ‘the heresy of paraphrase.

paraphrwse It is almost as if the American poet were teasing us by implicitly saying, ‘Look, I have presented this text in a poetic form, therefore it is a poem, since poetry has no essential nature. But as I hope to show, it is well worth probing into and decidedly needs rejuvenation. In this way I hope to give Brooks’s original thesis a more solid foundation. Actually, my theory about the tacit nature of our understanding of poetry gives my analysis the virtue of testability.

Analysing an example Now, it is high time that we illustrate the thesis of heresy with an example.

Cleanth Brooks and “The Heresy of Paraphrase” by Rosalyn Cowart on Prezi

A painting which in our eyes would look exactly like “Mona Lisa” but with a moustache would not be a parody in the possible world in question. In an analogous manner, Williams’s text poem? And who says that such depth interpretations are always useful? Articles lacking sources from September All articles lacking sources. In actual fact there has never been much systematic discussion about the thesis.